Zinfandel Recipes

Zinfandel: The ultimate food wine


Zinfandel Styles

Depending on the terroir and winemaking techniques, Zinfandel is typically produced in the following distinct styles.

LIGHT-BODIED

Light, young Zinfandels offer fresh, fruity flavors and an approachable, easy-drinking style. Lighter Zins are typically produced with less mature grapes and little barrel aging. This style of Zin is especially enjoyable with light cheeses, roast turkey, tomato-based sauces, and Asian or Latin cuisine.

MEDIUM-BODIED

The medium-bodied Zinfandel offers more fruit flavors and tannins than the light Zin. The aging and fermentation process increases the fruity character, balance, and complexity of the wine. The medium-bodied Zin reveals the spicy nature of the varietal and offers a longer finish. An excellent complement burgers, grilled sausages, lamb chops, and pork.

FULL-BODIED

Rich and dense with intense fruit flavors and ample tannins, the full-bodied Zinfandel is typically produced from vineyards with very old vines and often with very ripe or slightly overripe grapes. Highly concentrated fruit flavors are balanced by ample tannins, making this Zin ideal with heavy, robust dishes such as roast lamb, meat stews, hearty pastas, or barbequed dishes.

PORT-LIKE

Made from mature or very ripe grapes, the port-like Zin makes a great dessert wine. Enjoy it with creamy, blue-veined, and mature cheeses or bitter desserts like dark chocolate cake.

Zinfandel Food Pairing Guide

MEATS

Zinfandel wine is happiest when paired with anything from the meat aisle, from barbeque pork ribs, leg of lamb or a big, hearty meal.

Pork
Beef
Lamb
Italian Sausage
Spare ribs
Brisket
Venison

POULTRY

A lighter Zinfandel wine is a wonderful red wine food pairing choice for poultry and game fowl, especially when served with a heavier sauce.

Turkey - try Zinfandel for Thanksgiving!
Duck
Quail
Pheasant
Chicken

PASTA

A bigger Zinfandel wine pairs best with tomato-based dishes while lighter Zinfandels make an excellent wine pairing for creamy pastas.

Lasagna
Cannelloni
Spaghetti

SEAFOOD & FISH

Try pairing Zinfandel with seafood stews and soups, as well as seared or grilled fish.

Tuna
Cioppino (Tomato and fish stew)
Bouillabaise

OTHERS

Enjoy Zinfandel with bold, hearty soups, as well as your favorite kind of pizza!

Beef Stew
Chili
Pizza

CHEESE

Learn more about which Zinfandel style pairs with your favorite cheese.

Parmesan
Aged Cheddar
Aged Gouda
Asiago
Dry Jack

Zinfandel Cheese Pairing Guide

QUICK TIPS

Balance the flavors of the wine and cheese. Pair a lighter Zinfandel with milder cheeses, and complement a full-bodied Zinfandel with stronger cheeses.

OUR FAVORITES

Some of our favorites to enjoy with Zinfandelic:

Parmesan
Aged Cheddar
Aged Gouda
Asiago
Dry Jack

LIGHT-BODIED

Enjoy lighter Zins with milder cheese.

Mozzarella
Brie
Gouda
Swiss
Mild Cheddar

MEDIUM-BODIED

Try medium-bodied or spicy Zins with cheeses with smokey or sharp flavors. Enjoy these pairings with our Sierra Foothills or Lodi Zinfandel wines.

Smoked Gouda
Gorgonzola
Havarti
Gruyere
Smoked Swiss
Smoked Cheddar

FULL-BODIED

A big Zin is best with a robyst, flavorful cheese. Enjoy these cheese pairings with our Mendocino Zinfandel wine.

Roncal
Garrotxa
Aged Gruyere
Le Moulis

PORT-LIKE

Treat a port-like Zin like a dessert wine when selecting cheese pairings.

Stilton
Montgomery Cheddar
Roquefort
Azeitao